Kolkata, Jan 26,2024: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has some more concrete evidence now on how former West Bengal education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee had floated different shell companies through its confidante promoters with the sole aim to divert the ill-gotten proceeds in the cash-for-school job case to various channels.
Sources said that one such promoter recently handed over a written statement to the central agency sleuths on how he was under pressure of the former minister and virtually second-in-command in the ruling party to float these shell companies.
Chatterjee, who was arrested by the ED sleuths in connection with the school job case in July 2022, is currently serving his judicial custody at the Presidency Central Correctional Home in South Kolkata.
Sources said that the legal brains of the central agency are of the opinion that the written statement will help the agency sleuths to make the case more water-tight against the former minister.
Already in its subsequent charge sheets, the ED had described Chatterjee as the principal mastermind behind the school job case.
It is learnt that the ED had summoned the said promoter this week at the agency’s Salt Lake office and he was in a total cooperative mood since the beginning of integration. First he verbally briefed the interrogating official that he was under pressure from the former minister to float these shell entities and he submitted a written statement on this count to the agency officials.
Sources said the promoter, besides detailing on the floating of the shell entities, also provided some details on how the ill-gotten proceeds of the school job case were invested in different mushrooming real estate projects in and around Kolkata.
This is the second instance within a month where someone close to Partha Chatterjee has given a statement against the latter to any central agency. Earlier this month, the Income Tax department got some specific clues and evidence on how the former state minister purchased different properties in different pockets of West Bengal in the name of his son-in-law Kalian Bhattacharya.
Bhattacharya himself detailed this matter to the Income Tax officials then, besides handing over certain related documents pertaining to his statement.